August 8, 2019

We are free to think and say whatever we’d like. But did you know that your brain is always listening?

Studies by developmental biologists such as Bruce Lipton are showing over and over again that our brains hear what we say. Specifically, that our subconscious mind (the part that ensures we respond exactly how we are programmed) takes our words and beliefs and turns them into our actions.

Speaking from a body and pain perspective, what we believe and tell ourselves has a lot to do with how our injuries resolve!

In the clinic every day I hear people speak about themselves with language that is totally counterproductive to healing. Our beliefs shape our reality. As is such, believing we are broken leads to actions that reflect brokenness.  Which in turn leads to more brokenness, (and – wait for it!) the reinforcement of our belief.

What do you believe that isn’t serving you?

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

Posted in Jen's Journey, Wellness by Jen Wright | Tags: ,
June 28, 2019

Have you ever considered run commuting? I started shortly after moving to Ottawa last summer and am hooked! Here are my top 5 reasons to consider running to and/or from work:

1. Beat the traffic! I don’t know how many times over the past 9 months I have actually ran past backed up vehicles who are slowly crawling along.

2. If you have a desk job like most people do, this is a fantastic way to start and/or finish your day! If you are sitting for 8 hours/day at work it’s great if you can avoid spending even more time sitting in a car to get to and from your job.

3. It’s cheap! Because I run to work our family only needs one vehicle. We also save money on gas every time I run in. And with regards to equipment all you need is a comfortable pair of running shoes and a running back pack.

4. You get to spend time outside breathing in the fresh air! I’m in an office building all day long so I love my commute in where I get to be outside, whether it’s a beautiful sunny day, raining or even snowing. It’s just nice to get out!

5. You can get your daily exercise in without having to find or make time early in the morning or in the evening after work. This is definitely the main reason I run commute! I have a toddler at home so when I get off I like to spend my evenings with her. Then when she goes to bed I’m usually in lazy mode and I don’t have the motivation to grab my running shoes and head outside. I get my workout in as part of my daily routine which means I don’t have to make time for it later. (I also don’t have the chance to make excuses for all the reasons I can’t run if it’s my mode of transportation!)

And if you start run commuting why stop there? If you forgot something at the grocery store and it’s within your running distance why not strap on your backpack and run there? It’s nice to make running a part of your lifestyle!

June 27, 2019

Hi! My name is Dylan and I’m addicted to school.  Ok not really, but I did recently graduate from my third post-secondary institution. Apart from gaining two degrees and an advanced diploma, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge along the way.

Johnston Hall – University of Guelph

I attended the University of Guelph, where I completed my B.Sc in Human Kinetics. There, I learned about the human body and had the opportunity to study in the cadaver lab, giving me a real-life glimpse of the human body and the ability to actually SEE what the muscles are doing during movement. I also learned that I LOVED physics. Imagine my surprise when I found out biomechanics was a thing and it was essentially physics for the human body!! I also wanted to give back to the community, so I became a volunteer exercise assistant at a health centre, where I assisted with exercises for older adults. Moreover, during my last year at Guelph, I did a fourth-year project where I researched fall prevention and older adults. My volunteering and my project fueled my passion for research and hands-on learning even more.

After my four years in Guelph, I wanted to research some more into the world of biomechanics. The next stop on my educational journey was completing my M. Sc at the University of Ottawa.  My research was focused on looking at older adults and how they adjust to sit-to-stands at varying levels of fatigue. But I learned so much more than that. During my time at U of O, I learned perseverance, accountability and initiative. I preserved from writing through all the different edits of my thesis, I was held accountable for my research when it was not going as planned, and I took initiative to reach out and contact those who could help me. I may have gained a degree from that school, but more importantly, I grew as a person there. And I discovered, post-graduate degrees were not for me. To my family’s relief, I was not planning on doing my PhD- Thanks to all my family and friends that I made walk up 7 plus flights of stairs to make my thesis happen!

Apart from completing my Masters, I believed it was a good idea to become a Registered Kinesiologist (R. Kin.) as well. So, I spent one winter studying for the registration exam, reading endless textbooks and memorizing the attachment points of muscles – Again!  I became a R. Kin. in the summer of 2015 and was lucky enough to have found a job working as one!  In that role, I was able to use my research in a practical setting. I was able to help people pre and post orthopaedic surgery, help patients manage pain, and help decrease arthritic flare-ups, all through the power of movement and exercise! Helping these patients, just through exercise, made me want to do more and that’s when I went back to school, for the third time, to become a Registered Massage Therapist.

I  have recently graduated from Algonquin College in the Massage therapy program, and the things I learned there were amazing. Apart from learning how to massage, I learned time management skills and the importance of maintaining boundaries. I learned that college was a different kind of hard. Almost like a fun challenge that made you also want to pull all your hair out.  Maybe most importantly, I learned  that I was going down the correct career path and I’m ecstatic on how well massage compliments my skills as a kinesiologist.

So, what does this all mean? Whole Therapy is lucky to have gained a (soon-to-be) RMT and a Registered Kinesiologist, who has years of experience in the fields of movement and exercise. Not only will my RMT touch help to ease pain and increase range of motion of a joint, but my R. Kin. eyes will be able to look at your movements as a human being and come close to pin pointing what needs to be worked on.

 

My name is Dylan, and I’m a life-long learner and a two-for-one therapist.

Dylan Crake
Registered Kinesiologist
and soon to be Registered Massage Therapist!

March 12, 2019

Happiness doesn’t happen by accident. They say we are in charge of how we feel, and I believe it, even though during some of my lower moments I’d like someone else to blame. I’m 35 days into a personal project on happiness, and I’m already living proof that we can choose to be happy or sad.

Life happens all around us and we can’t control most of it. In fact, the general consensus is that about 90% of what happens to us is beyond our personal control. So how do we maintain composure when someone rear-ends our car? Or a snowstorm derails our plans? Or our toddler spills our coffee all over aisle 3 of the grocery store?

Your Subconscious is Listening

Studies show that what we tell ourselves, we believe. Most of our thoughts are pre-programmed, with only about 5% of our thoughts being conscious. And unfortunately, most of our programming leans toward a negative bias. If you struggle with positive thoughts now, it’s likely you’re going to keep struggling with them.

This winter, I was struggling hard with keeping upbeat. The weather was oppressive. I have a lot of kids, and a business, and a small house (you get the idea). I needed a new focus, and a better coping strategy than simply counting the days until spring.

The solution is re-programming the subconscious. The way to do it? Repetition.

It’s easy to repeat negative things to ourselves. Positive things sometimes take more effort (and if we’re honest, they often don’t feel 100% true), but the subconscious is listening.

A Positive Challenge

Enter #100happydays. I first stumbled across this project in 2015, and I gave it a try. The idea was to post a picture of something that made you happy every day for 100 days in a row. It was brilliant, and I loved the experience. I opted to try it again, with a few rules:

 

  1. Minimize the ‘stuff’, maximize the feelings. It’s really easy to focus on an object or material thing and say that it makes us happy. Instead, I wanted to focus on the little things, experiences and nuances of my day. I felt it would create a richer experience.
  2. Be true. Whatever I posted about had to genuinely make me smile, laugh, or warm me up inside. No fake stuff.

 

And that’s it! It’s been 35 days so far and I’m loving the experience. Stay tuned for another update soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to follow my happy days on Instagram @wholetherapyjen

I’m also challenging each of you to pursue your own happiness!  Share your warm and fuzzies with us on Instagram @WholeTherapyOttawa

February 20, 2019

 

What is IT Band Syndrome? Glad you asked!

The iliotibial (IT) band is a thick band of fascia that runs from your pelvis to the outside of your knee. Repetitive bending and straightening of the knee while running can cause constant rubbing of the IT band over the bony parts of your knee. This constant friction can cause the IT band to become irritated and eventually inflamed resulting in pain. The pain is often described as sharp. It’s typically outside the knee but can sometimes can radiate into the outer thigh or calf. Runners will usually notice more pain running downhill or during longer distance runs.

 

 

 

How do you treat IT Band Syndrome?

 

REST! The most important treatment tip is to modify your activity levels. IT band pain will not settle if you continue to run. The tissue needs a break from the friction caused by bending and extending activities in order to settle the irritation and inflammation along the outside of the knee. While resting you can cross train but you need to avoid similar activities. For example swimming is usually fine but cycling will likely just irritate the band.

Trail Run: When you’re ready, try trail running as opposed to treadmill or road running. Running on flat surfaces causes your leg to bend and extend the exact same way over and over again. Running on a varied surface mixes things up decreasing the repetitive movements at the knee.

Glute Strengthening: Make sure your glutes are strong! If your glutes are not functioning properly, your IT band may be compensating. (See my previous running blog on how to know if your glutes are weak and how to strengthen them 🙂

Foam Rolling: Try foam rolling the lateral aspect of your thigh. The IT band is not actually a muscle. It’s fascia which means it does not contract and relax. Therefore foam rolling and trying to stretch the IT band itself doesn’t actually “lengthen” the band of tissue. But rolling the outside of the thigh can get the lateral quad muscles which can definitely be tight.

TFL Release: Your tensor fascia lata is a muscle on the outside of your hip that helps stabilize your hip and knee. You can release your TFL either in lying as shown below or (if this exercise is too intense) against a wall.

 

If after attempting these tips you still have pain, you may need to book an appointment with a physiotherapist (Hi!) who can do a one on one assessment searching for and addressing any muscle imbalances you may have. You should also have your running form assessed! Modalities such as acupuncture, cupping and taping can also speed healing along nicely.

As always, if you have any questions at all make sure you send me an email at richelle.wholetherapy@gmail.com. I am always happy to help other runners run faster and be pain free!

November 30, 2018

Trying to motivate yourself to run throughout the winter months can be a struggle, but trying to stay injury free while you run throughout the winter months can be even more of a challenge! Check out these winter running tips that should help keep you running consistently all year long without pesky injuries slowing you down!

 

Temporarily reduce your weekly mileage with the first snowfall.

When you are running on snow as opposed to a hard, slip free surface you are using stabilizing muscles you haven’t used in a long time. This places you at increased risk of injury. Week 1 run 50% of your normal weekly mileage. Week 2 increase to 75%. By week 3 you should be able to return to your normal weekly mileage.

Avoid switching to the treadmill for 100% of your winter running.

First of all running on a flat uniform surface involves repeating the exact same movement over and over again which increases your risk of repetitive strain injuries like achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Second of all when the snow melts and you switch back to running outdoors you will have to drastically decrease your mileage or you’ll risk injury. Running on the treadmill does not mimic running outside! The impact force from running outside is much greater than on the treadmill. Also on the treadmill you are trying to keep up with the track as it glides under your feet, whereas outside you actually have to propel yourself forward. It’s very different therefore your body needs to be allowed the time to adjust!

Make sure your important stabilizing muscles are strong!

Running on the snow and ice demands more muscle effort than running on the treadmill or outdoors on dry pavement. Especially from the glutes and core. (See previous glute strengthening blog!)

Wear the proper footwear!

Yaktrax

Either wear sneakers that are meant for winter running and have soles with studs or spikes, or purchase an ice traction device such as Yaktrax that fit over your sneakers.

Warm up!

Warming up is more important during the cold winter months. If you are standing in a parking lot waiting for others in your group to show and you are shivering and chilly, your muscles are tight and cold as you start to run which can put you at increased risk of injury. Jog on the spot, do high knees or bum kicks, or wait in your car with your heat blasting!

Ignore the pace on your watch!

Focus on effort level as opposed to pace if you are used to running with a running watch. You will run slower in the winter months. If you try to maintain the same pace you did on the clear dry pavement you could end up with an injury. Use the rate of perceived exertion scale. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working. These feelings are not objective like monitoring your heart rate, but they can give an estimate of your heart rate and your exercise intensity zone.

 

 

 

Try snowshoe running!

It’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the snow covered trails. You have to make some small technique adjustments such as running with a slightly wider stance and lifting your feet higher. This will challenge your hip abductors such as your glute med and min and your hip flexors so make sure you ease into snowshoe running gradually. It is much slower than road/trail running so don’t focus on pace. Again use the rate of perceived exertion scale above! Also, purchasing snowshoes that are designed for running such as the Atlas snowshoes shown below can definitely improve your comfort level and speed while snowshoe running.

 

August 16, 2018

I’m not easily motivated anymore. I used to snap to attention the minute I saw a quote – any quote. The door of my room as a teenager was full of silver-penned wisdom in a spiral pattern. I gobbled up inspirational speeches like I was starving.

These days, it takes more to move me. I’ve become a little desensitized to the parade of stock photos and inspirational phrases marching across my social media feeds. I understand that I Am Worthy. I get that I have to Persist to Succeed. So now what? I need some more good life lessons to chew on!

When I decided to go to the Can Fit Pro Fitness Conference this year, I was apprehensive but excited. Surely someone there could motivate me. I wanted to be moved.

I wasn’t disappointed. Having trouble being motivated? Try this:

  • Surround yourself with ‘better’ people. Stronger people. More flexible, more educated, more worldly, more affluent. It’s true what they say: if you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I took an advanced flexibility class. I took a Pound: Rockout/Workout class. I learned about reflexive stabilization during the gait cycle (I know, sounds intense!). All of these seminars pushed my comfort zone, challenged my brain, and reminded me of how much I don’t know. It was bliss.

If you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

  • Watch other people get motivated. Five of us shared an apartment. We were able to have some down time in between sessions together, sharing what we learned from our various experiences. The excitement in people’s faces and voices when they just clicked with some piece of knowledge or resonated with someone’s lecture is amazing. It’s like watching a kid open birthday presents. I get filled up by that glow, and I saw it everywhere. Lightbulbs were almost literally going off in people’s heads everywhere I looked. Looking at the ways others were moved lit me up.

Meeting of the nerd-minds between sessions.

 

  • Hit all the senses. Simply reading motivational quotes doesn’t do it for me now. But sitting in a room hearing Petra Kolber talk about Detoxifying Perfectionism using her own real life examples as well as motivational quotes is. Listening to a pump-me-up song is fine, but what’s better is holding onto a pair of RipStix and drumming the ground like a seasoned Rockstar while the music thumps through the room. Watching a Zumba class from outside the gym studio is cool, but feeling the collective energy of the dance and the music as you pass by one on the trade show floor is So. Much. Better.

    Waiting to rock the Pound class.

While I didn’t digest major life-altering messages this weekend, the content within the CanFit conference left me with lots to mull over. And despite my sensitization to motivation, I found that I was definitely spurred into action by what I saw, heard, and experienced.

 

Until next year, CanFitPro!

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

July 25, 2018

When you are training in the heat and sweating buckets, it is important to replenish lost electrolytes. Physical function may hang in the balance if electrolyte levels remain low after a workout. Resulting symptoms can include muscle fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. But the right sport drink can get those electrolytes back in the body, no sweat.

Commercial sports drinks contains load of sugar, which slows down the rate at which water enters the blood. They also are typically loaded with artificial ingredients, which isn’t doing your body any favors.

The best way to replace electrolytes is through real food. Instead of reaching for a commercial sports drink, try this electrolyte option that is good for your health and will save you money!

 

HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE DRINK (Like homemade Gatorade)

– 1 cups of coconut water (unsweetened) – 1⁄4 cup of your favorite fruit juice (unsweetened) or fresh lemon or lime juice – A pinch of sea salt

Coconut Water is packed with electrolytes! Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes.

Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.

It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.

Fuel4Life will help you optimize your health and energize you for life!

www.fuel4lifenutrition.com

Carole Woodstock, RHN, FIS, NCCP

Posted in Nutrition by Carole Woodstock | Tags: , , ,
July 11, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do we experience trauma in pregnancy, and more specifically, birth? To every person trauma is seen differently. Our past experiences may influence how we perceive certain situations. Every woman who goes through pregnancy gives birth in one form or another. On paper, two people can have had the exact same experience, the same outcome, yet they walk away feeling very, very different. One may feel encouraged and completely satisfied with the birth while the other may walk away from the experience with feelings of abandonment, fear, or simply discontent.

When we talk to new moms, we often ask how the baby is doing, however, I often ask how the birth was. It is important to ask both questions, but we have to truly listen to what they are saying (and they may skirt the birth part of the question). We need to change our language and ask not how the birth was but rather how they felt the birth went? Two questions that on the surface mean the same thing, but people will answer completely differently.

If we ask the first question, how was the birth, it gives the new mom an out. Similar to when we ask “how are you?” Almost automatically our response is “Good! Thanks!” While at the same time we are running through the list in our heads of all the things that are wrong. We think of these questions as pleasantries and as if people don’t actually want the real answer, as if we can’t burden them with the truth.

Asking how someone felt about something – that’s different. We immediately are asking the person to unload. We are trying to create a small modicum of safe space. Now, when you ask this question, you have to be prepared for the answer. It may not be pretty.

Personally, I felt like I had a great birth with Henry (2 years ago). During and after I felt I was supported and heard. I attempted to keep my mind open and to let things progress naturally (this is usually a huge struggle for me). Did I have the “perfect” birth? No, there was some pretty scary moments that could have severely changed the outcome, but I had great people who trusted what I was telling them and whom I trusted. However, my experience was mine. I know of other women who could have had the same situation and afterwards felt like they had been violated (maybe emotionally or even physically). A lot of how someone perceives their labour and birth is based on their previous experiences. These experiences change how we live our lives day to day, so why would they not also change how we view birth?

If a woman had gone through sexual abuse as a child, could the birth of her own child not seem like another abuse to a region of her body that has already been sensitized?

If a woman was taught that vaginal birth was the only true form of birth, but being forced into an emergency cesarean, would she not feel like she missed something valuable?

Someone may be traumatized by tearing or later finding out they have a prolapse.

Trauma comes in all forms. It can be physical, mental, or emotional. It can happen during pregnancy, labour, delivery, or postpartum. Awareness of postpartum depression is slowly increasing, but not as to why it may occur. The points listed above are just a small sample of what someone may go through or what may have been a trigger for her.

While I cannot personally help you through your trauma, I can be a sounding board, a shoulder to lean on, or someone who can help you find someone to talk to. Please reach out. You are not alone.

July 10, 2018

Lower back pain. Every branch of medicine seems to have a different take on what to recommend. A new study published in the May 18th edition of JAMA Network Open sheds light on the subject with a direct comparison between usual non-chiropractic care, and usual care with chiropractic.

Dr Christine Guertz DC, PhD and colleagues enrolled 750 American active duty military service members with lower back pain from three different military bases. 375 members receive medical care as usual from their physicians. The remaining 375, received up to 12 chiropractic treatments of the lower back and surrounding areas along with usual care. Chiropractic care sometimes involved the use of the additional tools and techniques often utilized by chiropractors in their practice.

Analysis of the data showed that the addition of chiropractic lead to significantly greater benefit than standard medical care alone. This new data reinforces the recent recommendations put forth by the American College of Physicians. They now recommend inclusion of spinal manipulation along with other non-drug treatments often used by chiropractors as first-line therapy for both acute and chronic lower back pain.

If still considering whether to try chiropractic, Dr Rory Turner, Dr Damien Marion, and Dr George Surko of Whole Therapy are all highly skilled and experienced chiropractors who would be happy to answer your questions.

Yours in good health
David Gilbert – Integrative Therapist.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, Post Concussion Syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed